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Should I switch to a forward-facing seat?

My daughter turned one on Monday and she weighs 21 lbs...the seat we have is rear facing and will hold her until she's 30 lbs, BUT we are about to take a road trip (20 hours of driving over 2-3 days) and I feel like she would be much happier in a front-facing seat for the drive...I can't decide if I should get one now or not...anyone have an opinion/advice? Thanks!!

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Asked by stepmom929 at 10:24 PM on May. 28, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 12 (920 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • my son was a little over 20 lbs, but not quite a year old. same thing with his seat, it would have held the weight up to 30lbs...but his length made it unbearable for him. He was SO much happier when we swapped his seats. I would say go for it, just make sure she is totally secured and can't slip and slide while in it

    Answer by Adeline1210 at 10:27 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • rear facing is MUCH safer in case of an accident. if there are going to be 2 ppl in the car then take turns playing w/ baby, take plenty of toys, snacks, food, drinks, fav toys etc to occupy their time. take their baby cds & play em!

    Answer by Nyx7 at 10:35 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I am having the same problem. M 12 1/2 mo old is kicking the back of the seat but only 22 lbs. The seat we have for her when she is FF says min weight is 25 lbs. I think we are going to hold off b/c of that. I would go with what the seat recommendations are... they are, after all, the ones that do the safety tests.

    Answer by Megan1307 at 10:38 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I personally don't agree that rear facing is any safer then forward facing. That's my personal opinion though, so please go with what YOU feel is safer. I changed my son to forward facing when he turned one. He was too big for his infant carseat and much too tall to be rear facing any longer. Therefore, we switched him the minute the law would allow us to. He was estatic when he could watch the world pass by as we drove down the street. We went on a road trip (In march) from Michigan to Arizona and he loved seeing the differen scenary go by. I don't think he would've enjoyed the experience quite as much if he were rear facing.

    If you would like some tips on a long car ride with a toddler then feel free to PM me. I will be happy to share what I learned in March. The first road trip that I had taken with my children was a lot better then I had expected due to the tricks and tips I learned.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:41 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • That is at your discretion as the parent. I turned my son around as soon as he met both requirements because he was a little monster rearfacing. I personally think its much safer driving when there isn't a screaming crying snotty child choking on themselves from having such a fit in the back seat. If my next child doesn't mind being rear facing, then yes I'll keep them rearfacing longer, I think it really depends on the child AND the parents. That was my decision to make, just like this is YOURS.

    Answer by LovableNeurotic at 11:01 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • She will probably be happier REAR facing... the angle of the seat allows for more comfort and less head slump when she falls asleep.... compare it to this... would you rather sit in a lazy boy all reclined and comfy for 20 hours or sit bolt upright in a seat??
    Besides the increased comfort... it's MUCH safer to keep her rear facing.... which is more important than anything.
    Don't let anyone tell you she is too big to rear face... there isn't a single 12 month out there that is too big to rear face... they are lying to themselves.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 8:48 AM on May. 29, 2010

  • If rear facing is all she's known then it probably makes little difference to her IMO. American Academy of Peds recommends waiting until 2 years AND 30 lbs. Do your own research though and see what you feel would be safest. I know if I was planning a car trip that long I'd be more concerned with my child's safety than anything else...

    Answer by Nesa_Z at 9:50 AM on May. 29, 2010

  • The rule is 20lbs and a year, which she has met. But research shows that they are safer rear facing like nesa said till 2 and 30 pounds My pedi told me they were trying to pass a law to change it from a year and 20lb to 2 and 30. My son is 80th percentile for hight, so hes tall. His feet have been touching the backseat for a while now. He is 11 months old and 22lb, but i have no intentions on turning him at a year. I worried that if i crashed it would break his legs. Then i told myself broken legs can be casted, a broken neck cant :)

    Answer by carsonsmommytam at 3:22 PM on May. 29, 2010

  • The laws of physics are the laws of physics, they don't change. And the force of an accident on someone facing forward (regardless of age) is MUCH higher than that of a person facing towards the rear. Someone can believe it's no safer to be rear facing, but they have zero understanding of how force and movement works. An accident at 30mph can cause internal decapitation on a 13 month old in a forward facing seat. That same child in a rear facing seat will have little to no injuries.

    I don't turn my children forward (now) until my children reach the weight limit on the seat.

    Answer by lifetimelove at 12:48 AM on May. 30, 2010

  • I also wanted to add that I've taken my children on many (several day long road trips) in rear facing seats with no problem. My daughter is 21 months old and still is happy facing the back.

    Answer by lifetimelove at 12:49 AM on May. 30, 2010

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